Timur Kuran
Duke U.



(Tuesday, 17th May 2011)

Title : Institutional Roots of Economic Underdevelopment in the Middle East

Download the presentation - 3.86 MB

Although economically advanced in the Middle Ages, the Middle East subsequently slipped into a state of underdevelopment. This lecture will provide a critical overview of research aimed at resolving the puzzle, with an emphasis on identifying the causes of differences in the performance of civilizations over long time periods.

Recommended readings:

Timur Kuran, "The Scale of Entrepreneurship in Middle Eastern History: Inhibitive Roles of Islamic Institutions," in The Invention of Entreprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times, ed. William Baumol, David Landes, and Joel Mokyr (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), pp. 62-89.

Timur Kuran, "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 (2004): 71-90.

For a fuller background:

Timur Kuran, The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011).